ICYMI: Murkowski Urges Colleagues to Support Bipartisan Lands Package

Sets Up Final Vote on Package of 100+ Bills Today

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, yesterday spoke on the Senate floor about S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act. She highlighted the extensive regular order process the package of 100-plus bills has undergone in the Senate, House, or both chambers; the provisions essential to Alaskans and other local communities throughout the country; and the numerous local, state, and national organizations that support passage of this bill.

Supporters of the package or specific provisions within it include Ducks Unlimited, the Boone and Crockett Club, the Association of American State Geologists, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, the U.S. Travel Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, to name a few.

Murkowski and Ranking Member Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also secured a strong bipartisan vote of 87-7 to end debate and move to a final vote on S. 47, which will occur today at 4:30 p.m. EST.

Floor Speech 02.11.19

Click photo for video of Murkowski’s floor speech

Below are excerpts from Murkowski’s floor speech:

“The process that these matters [100-plus public lands, natural resources, water, conservation, and sportsmen bills] went through in order to get where we are today, this regular order process in the House, in the Senate, and in many cases both are really quite impressive…We have included provisions sponsored by at least 50 different Senators within this bill. That number rises to about 90 Senators when you're counting cosponsors…Again, [we were] very, very collaborative in the sense of how we reached out to everyone to ensure that their priorities are heard.

“Udall Park in Tucson, Arizona is a priority for the Arizona delegation, and it's one of those issues where you have a park – a pretty popular local community park – in the city. They've got all kinds of activities that you would anticipate in a small park – baseball, swimming, farmers markets. And up until just a few years ago, the local government was unaware that the federal government owned this park. We clean up the issue, which allows the city to move forward with the activities without facing these federal bureaucratic hurdles.

“I’ve certainly heard from a lot of Alaskans that are very pleased about where we are with this package. We heard from Sheri Buretta, the chair of an Alaskan corporation. She wrote that, ‘Section 1113 of S. 47, while long overdue from our perspective, provides a welcome and extremely helpful mechanism for addressing serious inequities relative to our land settlement.’

“David Fee from the Alaska Volcano Observatory noted that, ‘current volcano monitoring capacity in the United States is deficient, and we are unable to accurately forecast and detect eruptions at an adequate level, so passing and funding [the National Volcano Early Warning System Act will provide] for a safer and more resilient United States.’

“This afternoon, we’re going to vote on a motion to end debate on S. 47. I would strongly, strongly encourage all members to support that motion and allow us to take the final steps to move this important package with good, strong bipartisan support, [and] send it over to the House of Representatives so we can finally get this enacted into law.”

Click here to watch video of Murkowski’s floor speech.

Click here for more information on S. 47.

Related Issues: Energy